TAMIL NADU

Aiming for a budget that will meet people’s expectations

MONEY MATTERS: Municipal Finance Specialist Roshan Bhatnagar explaining the preparation of budget at the Coimbatore Corporation on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: — PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

Special Correspondent

Government wants all the municipal corporations to implement the Outcome Budget system

COIMBATORE: A New Delhi-based consultant explained to the Coimbatore Corporation on Tuesday ways to make the budget a vision statement for the city that could be implemented totally.

Municipal Finance Specialist of Infrastructure Professional Enterprises Private Limited Roshan Bhatnagar explained the concept of “Outcome Budget” as one that would fulfil the expectations of the citizens and assess the value of the services provided to them by the Corporation.

This system was insisted upon under the Central Government’s infrastructure development programme, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. The Government had also wanted all the municipal corporations to implement the Outcome Budget system.

Stipulated period

Under this, the budget would announce schemes that could be implemented. Mr. Bhatnagar pointed out that local bodies usually announced a number of schemes that were eventually not implemented within the promised time-frame. Under the proposed system, the Corporation could first ascertain whether it could implement scheme within a stipulated period.

Making a departure from the routine preparation of revenue and expenditure components, the Corporation should first make certain that the schemes could achieve their objective while including them in the budget.

Mr. Bhatnagar said that before preparing the budget the officials should first know in detail what everyone in the city, right from the Mayor to the common man, expected from the Corporation in terms of infrastructure and other core municipal services. Schemes announced in the budget should be able to meet their needs. At the end of every financial year, the Corporation should also get the feedback of the people on the budget and the schemes.

Laying immense stress on the feasibility of projects, he said that the Corporation should ensure that the basic logistics were available for a scheme. For example, if people wanted 24-hour water supply and the Corporation was also keen on implementing a scheme for it, the civic body should first check whether it had the basic infrastructure such as water tanks and a supply system.

Presentation

These must be available or the Corporation should be in a position to provide it when it announced the scheme, he said. The presentation on Tuesday included a bit of orientation for the officials on the new concept. Mayor R. Venkatachalam, Corporation Commissioner P. Muthuveeran, Deputy Mayor N. Karthik and Finance Committee Chairman A. Nandakumar were present. Coimbatore and Madurai corporations were the cities chosen in the State to implement this system, the Mayor said. He was optimistic that the new system would be transparent and the people would be able to know whether the scheme they wanted would be implemented or not.

The Corporation spent Rs.20 crore on salaries to conservancy workers every year on garbage removal from the city. But, the disposal system might have areas that fell below expectations. Scrutiny under the Outcome Budget system would help in eliminating this.